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May 12, 2006

Developer Defends Atlantic Yards Plan for Brooklyn

The NY Times
By Nicholas Confessore

Gehry-Stuckey-Olin-NYT.jpg

From across the room, the new plastic-and-wood model of Brooklyn's proposed Atlantic Yards project — unveiled by the developer Forest City Ratner at a news conference today — looked a lot like the old one sitting a few feet away: A 22-acre swathe of glass, brick and metal towers that will loom over the surrounding neighborhoods and forever alter the borough's otherwise sparse skyline.

The Atlantic Yards design, unveiled today by the developer Forest City Ratner, faces opponents with a different vision for Brooklyn.

But in an hourlong presentation, Frank Gehry, the project's architect, and Laurie Olin, its landscape designer, emphasized details that they said would harmonize the project's scale with the neighborhoods it would border. They described shorter and thinner buildings on Dean Street, where the project abuts a mostly low-rise neighborhood, extensive use of glass walls at street level, and what Mr. Olin described as "the biggest stoop in Brooklyn," a sort of public porch planned for the southeast corner of Flatbush and Atlantic.

"It still feels like Brooklyn," Mr. Olin said.

But Mr. Gehry, Mr. Olin and Forest City Ratner officials made clear that the developer and its opponents still have vastly different visions of what, exactly, Brooklyn should feel like, at least in this corner of the borough, where the bustling downtown commercial district shades into a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood of brownstones.

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NoLandGrab: Despite the weekly prodding and flogging that The Times gets from Norman Oder's Atlantic Yards Report, reporter Nicholas Confessore takes a fairly evenhanded approach to the controversial Atlantic Yards development in this article (including a full disclosure of the relationship between Ratner and The NY Times Company and the use of eminent domain).

Posted by lumi at May 12, 2006 7:18 AM